Wednesday, October 16, 2013

History in Contemporary Romance

When I wrote the first draft of Seducing the Enemy, I’d just come off a frenzy of reading historical romances. The story I wanted to write was definitely a contemporary one—the characters, the plot, and the scenarios I intended to explore could only take place in a contemporary timeframe. But I couldn’t quite shake a few themes that are particularly strong in historicals, so I worked them into the contemporary romance.

Because of this, there is a lot of interplay between the present and the past in Seducing theEnemy. Part of this comes from the primary source of conflict—a tragic accident that occurred fifteen years prior to the events of the book. But part of it comes in the character of Cyrus Damon, who is the patriarch of the Damon family. Cyrus is an eccentric billionaire who lives on a sprawling English estate and who would rather live in an earlier century.

Harrison, the hero of the book, is one of the Damon heirs and nephews, and he is trapped by very strong family responsibilities and commitments because of his uncle’s old-fashioned code of honor. They way Harrison and Marietta have to maneuver between the contemporary world and long-standing threads of history that keep tangling them is one of the distinct aspects of the story.

Here is a teaser excerpt that deals with this interplay of contemporary and historical, a conversation between Harrison and his brother, Andrew.

Andrew shook his head. “I was declared a useless philanderer who brought nothing but shame to the family.”
Harrison stopped in the middle of the hallway and checked his brother’s expression. It revealed nothing. “He didn’t mean that.”
“Oh, he did. You know Lord Uncle as well as I do. If there’s a choice between one of us and his archaic sense of honor, his honor will always win.”
Andrew was half-smiling, as if their uncle’s eccentricity was amusing, but Harrison found his comment troubling. “I don’t think that’s true.”
“You’re blind to him sometimes. Look what happened with Ben.”
There was no disputing the ruthless inflexibility that had led to Benjamin’s desertion. Not wanting to dwell on it, Harrison changed the subject. “He really called you a philanderer?”
Andrew laughed, the slight tension in his mouth relaxing. “Keep hitting on Marietta, and maybe he’ll call you one, too.”

If history is important to us as people, then it will naturally be part of contemporary romances at times. What other ways might history be important or relevant in contemporary romance?

Noelle Adams Bio:
Noelle handwrote her first romance novel in a spiral-bound notebook when she was twelve, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. She has lived in eight different states and currently resides in Virginia, where she teaches English, reads any book she can get her hands on, and offers tribute to a very spoiled cocker spaniel.

She loves travel, art, history, and ice cream. After spending far too many years of her life in graduate school, she has decided to reorient her priorities and focus on writing contemporary romances.

Seducing the Enemy
After being injured in a tragic accident as a child, Marietta Edwards has lived a sheltered life. Finally recovered, she wants to indulge in pleasures that are entirely new to her, so she begins by seducing a sexy, mysterious stranger. Only after their one-night stand does she learn their families have been embroiled in a fifteen-year legal battle and the man she’s given herself to is her worst enemy.

The heir to a vast fortune, Harrison Damon believes the unforgettable night he spent with Marietta in Monte Carlo is just a fling, an escape from his responsibilities. Then he discovers she is an Edwards—the family he despises most. He can’t quench his attraction for her, but he won’t let her use it against him. He won’t let her manipulate him to win money from his family. No matter how much he wants her, he won’t let her seduce him again.


  1. I love these's always great to see how two people in love can turn around age old feuds....or at least stop future generations from hating!

  2. I love these multi generational stories as they tend to add richness to the romance. I'll definitely be checking this out.

  3. Hi Noelle,
    What a great plotline for your book--I'm always in awe of you who can pull off such intricate weaving of detail and timelines. I clearly need to do more digging into historical knowledge--you guys have so much fun! Good luck with the book!

  4. I love stories like this! I always think its neat to be able to "look back" into a different time and see all the differences in how we are living today. Good luck with the book! It sounds awesome!


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